♫ Against All Odds ♫

Some people are born with talent oozing out of their pores, while others of us do well to remember which sock goes on which foot each morning.

Philip David Charles Collins, aka Phil Collins, is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor. He was the drummer and singer of the band Genesis and is also a solo artist. Between 1982 and 1989, Collins scored three UK and seven US number-one singles in his solo career. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totaled, Collins had more US Top 40 singles than any other artist during the 1980s.

My claim to fame is that I can fold a really neat stack of towels.

Collins originally wrote this song for his album Face Value and titled the song How Can You Just Sit There?  But he decided he didn’t like the song well enough to include it in the album and it was set aside.  Until … movie director Taylor Hackford, who was directing Against All Odds at the time, appeared at the end of one of Collins’ concerts to ask him to write the title song for the film.

As was the case with several of his early solo songs, it was inspired and written shortly after the breakup between him and his first wife, which he says transformed him from being a musician into also being a lyricist.

“That song was written during my first divorce. My first wife and the kids had gone and I was left there. The song was written out of experience as opposed to a ‘what if’ song. If that personal stuff had not happened to me at the time, I probably would never have made an album, and if I was to have made an album eventually, it probably would have been a jazz/rock thing. Without that stuff I wouldn’t have felt the stuff I felt sitting at a piano night after night, day after day writing stuff.”

Against All Odds
Phil Collins

How can I just let you walk away
Just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh ooh
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave?
‘Cause we’ve shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Ooh, take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against the odds
And that’s what I’ve got to face

I wish I could just make you turn around
Turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you
So many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face

Now Take a look at me now
‘Cause that’s just an empty space
But to wait for you is all I can do
And that’s what I’ve got to face

Take a good look at me now
‘Cause I’ll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It’s the chance I’ve got to take
Take a look at me now

Songwriters: Phil Collins
Against All Odds lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC

18 thoughts on “♫ Against All Odds ♫

  1. Break-ups are always hard things, there are such confusing feelings to work through. Part of you wants to still be together, while another part knows why you had to split. But the biggedt part, I think, is being “suddenly single,” and it is also the hardest part. After living life as a couple, you forget how to be a single person. Going to sleep alone, waking up alone, having no one to share meals and conversations with, no one to be intimate with (does not mean sexual!). Being suddenly single was always the hardest part of a break-up for me.
    Phil’s plaintive voice describes this and more, without really saying it. I mean, he says a lot, but there is so much more left between the lines…

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    • You are so right on all counts … you sound like you’ve had multiple experiences with break-ups. I’m sorry for that, for I think you’re a good man. I’m glad you’ve got Gail now, though!

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      • Don’t be sorry foe me, please. Every relationship taught me something about myself I was able to improve upon in my next relationship. I loved every one of those women, but my life was always continually changing. Change is not a good thing in a relationship, unless both parties are changing in similar directions. Now, older, I do not change as fast as I used to. We’ll have to see how that goes…

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        • Yes, we learn from life’s experiences, both the good and the not-so-good. I don’t feel sorry for you, just sorry that you’ve had a difficult life from childhood on. And you hit the nail on the head about relationships and change. When my late ex-husband and I divorced, that was precisely what I said. We each grew from the time of our marriage, but we grew in different directions and no longer had much in common other than 3 children. I think one of the biggest mistakes a couple can make is to “stay together for the sake of the children”, for it rarely benefits the kids. LuL

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          • That is an understatement, yet one too many believe do not understand. You talk a lot about Chris, obviously, but how are the other two?
            As for my sorry life, lol, my relationships are the least sorry part of it. They were wonderful while they lasted, I regret them not one bit, even the break-ups. Funny, but as hard as my life has been for me, particularly my childhood, my laughter and love of life have never stopped. They have been tested, no doubt, but never defeated. Apropos of nothing, I am a happy guy.

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            • The other two … the youngest, Clifford, is profoundly disabled with an IQ of only about 20. At age 40, he is unable to dress or feed himself and has no verbal communication skills. He is in a special school in Virginia. The other, Michael … well, he is 47 and believes the world owes him something. He’s never felt it necessary to hold down a job, and the last time he visited me, many years ago, I had to sleep with my car keys and cash under my pillow after I caught him trying to take off on a midnight joyride in my car. He has done prison time for drug-related charges, and blames everyone but himself for his troubles.

              I’m glad you’re a happy guy! 😉

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